By Ryan Meehan
Freddy Lockhart is an American comedian, actor, writer, and producer. In 2006 he became known for his popular internet series on Superdeluxe known as Mixed Media, and in 2008 was cast alongside Frank Caliendo on the TBS series Frank TV. Lockhart was born in San Antonio, Texas. His father, Frederick Douglas Lockhart Jr., of African American ancestry, was a surgical assistant in the Air Force. His mother, Nancy Blake Lockhart Mullins, who is of Italian/English ancestry, was a student at the university of Texas at San Antonio. Lockhart later moved to Edwards Air Force Base in California where he attended Bailey Elementary School. In 1986, his family then moved to Arizona where he spent his formative years being influenced by Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce and Bill Cosby. After graduating from Tempe Corona Del Sol high school, Lockhart moved to Hollywood to begin performing at The World Famous Comedy Store. In 2004 he made his national television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live. After that he worked regularly in film and television. He currently tours all over the world and can be seen in both Los Angeles and New York when he is not touring. Lockhart has an elder sister, Dr. Ginger Lockhart. He currently lives with his longtime girlfriend, Nicole Erler, in Studio City, California with their two dogs Lola (Jack Russell Terrier) and Grace (German Shepherd). He currently stars in his own podcast “What’s Good”, and he’s my guest today in 7 questions.
RM: You moved around a lot during your childhood…How much influence do you think that fact had on your interest in observational comedy given the fact you had been able to see how people reacted to different situations in different geographical areas?
FL: Moving around as an Air Force Kid helped to make friends quickly but also I learned to not call one place home for too long. Living on various Air Force Bases, I met people from all over the world which is where I became curious about accents and voices as well.
RM: How would you best describe your first time being on stage? What was the first joke you told that really connected with the audience; and how soon thereafter did you begin writing jokes on a daily basis?
FL: My first time on stage was great! I was scared to death but I didn’t have anything to compare it to so naiveté was advantageous. I didn’t know I was supposed to suck! I got laughs, I was myself… However, the next 150 times went bad because I thought I had it figured out the first time. I was just really honest the first time. It took me a while to realize that being funny was just one tiny aspect of stand-up comedy. Be comfortable with yourself and strangers is of paramount importance for a novice comedian. Which is why repetition is key.
RM: What was the most important thing you learned from having the privilege of working on FrankTV? For a guy who does such intense character work, is he able to “shut himself off” pretty easily if the situation calls for it? Do you have any good stories from being on the set of that show?
FL: Being on Frank TV was fun and exciting. I learned a lot from Frank about how to tackle a difficult impression and that there is no substitute for hard work. Before that show, I tested for SNL. It went great! Unfortunately, a writers strike hit and nobody who tested was hired that season. So, I ended up on Frank TV. One can only be grateful to be on any show that employs you for your talent.
RM: For those who have never had the chance to experience The Comedy Store firsthand, what about that environment makes it so special and such an excellent venue for live comedy?
FL: I always equate The Comedy Store experience to be a lot like jazz. There are no rules, no notes–just feeling. A Comedy Store Comic is always a bit of a punk–in the sincerest form a la The Ramones. The Comedy Store is a pool without a lifeguard. You sink or swim on your own. The mistake some comics can make is to pledge their undying allegiance to one particular club when in fact they should pledge it to the art form–wherever it may be. That being said, It’s my opinion that The Comedy Store is the best place to start if you want to dive in head first.
RM: Hypothetical scenario: Let’s say I was interested in getting a dog. If you had to convince someone who has never owned a dog what to expect from that purchase, what would you say to me?
FL: To someone who was interested in getting a dog I would tell them this:
My German Shepherd Dog, Grace was 7 years old when she was diagnosed with malignant cancer on December 9th of last year. She succumb to her illness and we had to put her to sleep on Christmas night. As horrible as that sounds, I am nothing but grateful that for seven glorious years I had the best friend anyone could ever ask for. As a comic, I take an unflinching look at the truth. I knew going in that it would be for a limited time. She died in my arms. After all of that, the love heavily outweighs the tragedy. I feel like the luckiest person alive to have had the pleasure of her loyal companionship for 7 years. No regrets. And–I’ll do it again. Get another German Shepherd Dog, that is.
RM: Your podcast is called “What’s Good” and is available on The Toadhop Network…Who are some of the other individuals involved with that show; and with all of the available comedy podcasts available today what are you doing to make sure yours stands out from the rest?
FL: I have recently integrated my love of podcasting and video games. Enter Twitch. I love Twitch! I basically do that as my podcast now. I really enjoy connecting with people from all over the world. I found that it has killed anonymity and forces people to be themselves. I find so often, online gaming was kind of a wild west attitude. When you attach a face to a gamer, it forces people to drop the childish need to send hate to a stranger. I also enjoy it because I can interact with fans. Fans become friends. It’s nice to hear where they are from and what things they are in to.
RM: Which aspect of the writing process to you tend to struggle with the most and why? Conversely, which aspect of writing jokes would you consider to be your specialty; and why do you think you excel at that particular component of the practice?
FL: I write screenplays and shows often. I find the practice is tedious and time consuming, but I love it. When it comes to stand up, I write on stage. I basically think of what I want to talk about and develop it on stage. It goes back to comedy being like jazz for me. If I play a note I like, I’ll remember it but to sit down and write an act out verbatim isn’t and has never been my thing. When you are writing a screenplay, you have all the time in the world to get it right. With stand up, the feeling has to be genuine and if it’s a scripted act, one may tend to “call it in”. So, I try to go on stage sometimes having no clue what I am going to talk about. Not a practice I would advise to a beginning comic but because I have the material to fall back on, I can explore.
RM: What’s up next for you in the remainder of 2015 and beyond? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
FL: I am getting ready to release my album! It’s been a long time in the making (maybe my whole life). It will be called: What’s Good! It will be available everywhere in about a month from now. I have also completed a screenplay that I plan to shoot this year entitled “The Mushroom Cloud”. It’s not about Little Boy or Fatman, rather the struggle of a group of thirtysomethings trying to locate psychedelic mushrooms. My goal is to get it into a festival. Comedy is my first love but film making is a medium I am most excited about. Doing both is my ideal life! That, weed, video games, politics, war documentaries, NPR, bullies getting served, dogs, and The Wire and Deadwood.
Official Website: http://www.freddylockhart.com/
Freddy on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FreddyLockhartComedy
Freddy on Twitter: https://twitter.com/freddylockhart
Once again thanks for visiting First Order Historians and enjoying more of the internet’s finest in user generated content.